N. Shatrujeet

IDBI-Principal moves account from Network to Burnett

Leo Burnett India has won the advertising account of mutual fund brand IDBI-Principal. The agency has also formally acquired P&G’s sanitary napkin brand, Whisper

Asset management company IDBI-Principal AMC - the JV between Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) and the US-based Principal Financial Group - has moved its advertising business out of Network Advertising and awarded the account to Leo Burnett India. Confirming the development, Sheetal Talwar, head - marketing, IDBI-Principal, told agencyfaqs! that Burnett would be handling the business starting February 1, 2003. "Network is currently working on a campaign for us, following which Leo Burnett will be in charge of all our advertising."

The decision to move the account comes roughly a year after IDBI-Principal shifted the business to Network. For the record, last February, the mutual fund company had dropped Publicis India in favour of Network, following a five-way pitch. Talwar, however, clarifies that the decision to move out of Network was taken mutually.

"Network has done a lot of good work for us, and we were quite happy with them," he explains. "It's just that our philosophies were a bit different. So both of us agreed that the business would move. And anyway, we were looking for an additional agency. We wanted, among other things, an agency with heavy brand planning strengths." agencyfaqs! has understood that IDBI-Principal called for a credentials pitch sometime last month, which was attended by four to five agencies. Their identities, however, are not known.

Giving reasons for opting for Burnett, Talwar says, "We found Leo Burnett very strong on brand planning, and they displayed an understanding of the Indian consumer, which is critical to us. Also, their recommendations seem to help us meet our business goals." He is not, however, willing to reveal the size of the business. "I don't think I can declare that given the competitive environment in mutual funds, but I can tell you that it is a very substantial business."

For Burnett India, year 2003 has started on a high note. Apart from the IDBI-Principal account, the agency has also formally acquired Procter & Gamble's (P&G) sanitary napkin brand, Whisper. It may be recalled that late last year, after D'Arcy shut shop, P&G globally realigned all its D'Arcy-aligned accounts with one or the other of Publicis' agency networks. Burnett Worldwide was one of the beneficiaries, and in India, Whisper was scheduled to move to the agency from Publicis Ambience (then Ambience D'Arcy). "We have started handling that account from January 1," informs Aniruddha Banerjee, executive director, Leo Burnett India. "Whisper and IDBI-Principal have got us rolling early, so it feels really nice." © 2003 agencyfaqs!

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